‘Yesterday is gone and it would be okay
Place your past inside a book
Burn the pages let ’em cook…’
Sia (Burn the pages)
‘Her pelvic fracture isn’t all that severe and could be
treated by rehabilitation which involves her lying all day
in bed for days, weeks or sometimes month while
getting medications administered to her. That way, it
would heal in no time.’ The wiry doctor with moustache
explained to Tobi and Jo in his office.
Tori had woken up with a groan. She was in so much
pain that her incessant groaning had resulted into
crying. Ebiere, who couldn’t bear the sight had cried
along with her while Jo silently sobbed unnoticed where
she stood wishing she could turn back the hands of
Tobi had appeared in Tori’s ward a few minutes after he
got a call from Tife from another part of the hospital
that Tori was awake. He had decided to get some food
for Ebiere who had refused to eat ever since the incident
Tobi was there when Tori cried and it hurts so badly.
She was in so much pain and he couldn’t even do
anything about it. His eyes reddened in his scull as he
watched the nurses administer sedatives into her body.
His mind had slowly regained peace as she stopped
crying and slowly drifted off to sleep.
A few seconds after Tori was asleep, Ebiere had
slumped and lost consciousness at that very point and
she had been taken into another part the hospital to be
taken care of.
‘If her fracture heals, does that mean she’d be able to
walk again?’ Tobi asked with a gleam of expectancy in
his eyes even though he was still pretty riled-up by
Tori’s crying scene.
‘Oh. I don’t think so. The nerve damage on her legs is
still there and it is pretty bad.’
The expectancy in his eyes was immediately replaced by
a blank, unreadable face.
‘What you are saying is, we have nothing to gain if the
fracture thingy heals?’ He asked with a slight frown.
‘Actually, if her pelvic heals, she’d be in lesser pain and
it would be a lot easier for her to move about in a wheel
chair.’ The doctor answered his question with a small,
There really isn’t anything amusing about an accident
talk more of one that claimed someone’s legs or is
there? The doctor’s smile didn’t actually do anything to
encourage Tobi but it somehow succeeded in pissing
him off a bit.
‘How is my mum doing now?’ Jo asked in a trembling
voice. Tobi had totally forgotten she was here and her
voice had made him realised she was actually sitting
right beside him looking the least pleasing or gay. Her
wet face plus the red eye suggested how hard she had
And who could have thought she could cry for Tori?
Who was he deceiving? She sure was crying because of
Or why the hell would she cry for Tori when she didn’t
even show up at the hospital two days after Tori got
All his life, he had thought Jo a strong willed,
reasonable and respectable girl, characters which clearly
contrast ladies her age. You could guess how
disappointing it was for him to realize after ten years or
so that she wasn’t anything he thought she was. She
was just a strong headed, unreasonable, stubborn and
unforgiven person who couldn’t shove grudge aside,
even as pretense or deceit when life and death is
Who could have thought she could be that heartless?
‘All your mum needs is food and enough rest. She
should get discharged today or tomorrow morning
luckily and when she eventually does, let her stay in
bed, at home and relax. Her starving and not having
much rest will be doing the patient and her no good.
The earlier she realizes that, the better.’ With Jo’s
question answered, they both left the doctor’s office.
‘So,’ Jo started with a rasped, crackled voice during the
walk back to Tori’s ward. ‘How did it happen?’ She
‘You were there when she slumped and you heard what
the doctor said…’ Tobi wasn’t given the chance to
finish replying before Jo cut in.
‘I’m not talking about my mum.’ Jo said before
lowering her voice to an almost inaudible volume.
Interesting, so who or what could it be? Tobi looked at
her with an unfeeling expression on his face
‘I’m talking about Tori.’ She finally added.
‘It’s amazing you know her name. You are always
referring to her as ‘That girl’ that I thought you never
knew Tori was her name.’ Tobi knew this wasn’t the
time to be sarcastic but he couldn’t just help it. Her
sudden interest in Tori spelt PRETENSE.
‘Please tell me.’ Jo said hurriedly, wiping off a tear
which fell on her cheek with her forefinger.
Tobi knew she was probably pretending but it was
better she was atleast pretending to care than when she
was on her own acting like she cares not what anybody
‘It was an auto accident and the driver of the car that
hit her was driving a stolen car. It was during the chase
with the police that Tori got hit. Unfortunately, they
couldn’t find the driver but they found the car
abandoned somewhere on the outskirt of the city. With
the only lead to the driver being the car, there is little or
no possibility of catching the culprit.’ Tobi explained
and to his amazement Jo was sobbing profusely and
her tears looked so real.
‘I caused it Tobi. I am such a monster.’ Tobi stopped
walking and gave Jo, who already stopped walking a
‘After work that day, I offered her a ride in my car which
she accepted. It was during the ride I made an offer to
her. I offered her money, asked her to leave my house
and disappear not to be seen again. I asked her to stay
away from your place because I was sure mum would
search for her there if she doesn’t come home. She
must have been so upset and…and…’
‘You did what?’ Tobi couldn’t believe his ears. The rate
at which anger was boiling inside him was more than
‘I couldn’t tell mum! It would just make her hate me the
more but I can’t live with this. I just had to tell
someone and you are the only person I could tell.’ Jo
weeped harder and her weeping only infuriated Tobi the
‘Why would you do that? And you thought you couldn’t
tell your mum but you could tell me?’ Tobi bit his lips to
hold back his anger which appeared to have been
greatly fuelled by Jo’s presence and he knows he might
end up doing something he was going to regret if he
continued staring at her like that.
‘Just leave this place.’ Tobi said between gritted teeth
as he turned away from her knowing that was the only
way he wouldn’t do something stupid only for him to
feel Jo’s hand on his elbow making him cringe in horror.
‘Tobi…’ She tightened her hold on his hand still crying.
Tobi breathed out loudly first, hoping that would help
‘I’ve never really slapped a female before. You don’t
want to be the first do you?’ The tone with which he
said that was serious and threatening at the same time.
So, he really wasn’t surprised when Jo’s hold lessened
as she stared completely stunned at him. He yanked his
hands off her hold and brushed off her scent off his
body before proceeding down the hall.
‘I did it because I found out my mum was her mother!’
Jo screamed after him. Tobi ignored and kept walking
not sure what to make of her last statement.
‘… I know I made the mistake of getting married to an
irresponsible man at a very young age but there really
was nothing to do after I struggled through college all
by myself aside marriage. I’m just so glad I found my
daughter when I already gave up hope of ever seeing
her. It just hurts Johanna would act like that towards
her.’ Ebiere seemed pissed after her narration. She just
got discharged from the hospital and Tobi had
volunteered to drive her home. His motive was to
confirm whether what he heard Jo say was actually true
and Jo wasn’t just crazy as he had thought.
Even though whatever Jo said sounded plausible, a part
of him urged him to inquire and he did. He had told
Ebiere what Jo said about Tori’s birth mother making
sure he avoided mentioning the part where Jo got
involved in Tori’s accident.
Tobi listened attentively to Ebiere’s story. He was
particularly amazed Jo wasn’t insane after all and it
amazed him the more that Ebiere could actually be
Tori’s mother. Not sure he heard right, Tobi tried to lay
out the necessary points.
‘If I heard you correctly, you had twins, two girls for a
man who was a gambler plus a drunk. He was neck
buried in debt and in order to avoid paying off those
debt, he disappeared, abandoning you and your kids.
When you got kicked out of your rented apartment back
then, you sought for shelter in which nobody was ready
to offer a stranger. Somehow you ran into luck and a
woman welcomed you into her home for the night. The
woman is the person who Tori grew up to know as her
grandmother having no idea she was only left with the
woman along with her twin sister by her birth mom,
which is you, who, according to you, thought the girls
would be a lot safer with the woman than they would
with you by waking up as early as possible and before
anyone else does to run off.’
‘Several years after leaving your kids with a strange
woman and searching for jobs and working your heart
out to survive, you ran into luck and won the heart of a
wealthy widow, a man I actually got to know as Jo’s
dad. After getting married to him, you proposed the idea
of having your kids stay with you and your new
husband, an offer he didn’t decline. You went in search
of your girls only to get a shocker when you got to the
place the woman you left your kids with stayed and was
told she already vacated the building and no one had
any idea where she was at that particular time. You
were heartbroken and you stopped searching because
there wasn’t any place to search.’
‘Two years after getting married to Mr Edwards, it
turned out you were still childless. Your husband
suggested adoption and you thought it was too early for
him to suggest that but you had no choice but to agree
with him. And also, his reason for suggesting adoption
you got to know, a few weeks to his death was because
he was and had always been sterile. The lucky girl you
adopted at the orphanage turned out to be Jo and you
intentionally avoided spending time with her thinking
you don’t need to know the joy of being a mother owing
to the fact that you couldn’t even be a real mother to
your own kids.’
‘ Blah blah blah, fate brought you and one of your twin
daughters, Tori back together after many years when
her sister was proclaimed dead in a fire explosion right?’
Tobi knew that was exactly what he heard Ebiere say
‘You know so well this is damn complicated and the
only person who is the sole victim in this complicated
story is lying on the hospital bed having no idea how
complicated her life really is? Isn’t that too much a
detail to be hidden from her?’ Tobi asked in an accusing
‘I wanted to tell her. I badly wanted to. I was going to
tell her after dinner the day she unfortunately got hit by
a car but as fate would have it, I couldn’t. I’m just a bit
worried if what is happening to me right now is karma.
I’m probably suffering for abandoning them in the first
place.’ It was like Ebiere was warming herself up for
another round of weeping.
Tobi didn’t say anything else until he finally got Ebiere
safely inside her compound and left immediately he
helped her get settled in her bed, leaving her in the care
of her house help.
‘Where is Johanna?’ Ebiere asked the house-help as
she lowered the pillow unto her back while positioning
herself into a sitting position. She really wasn’t done
talking to Jo just yet. Jo didn’t even show up at the
hospital to check on her this morning. She really had
become something else.
‘I haven’t seen her today.’ Chichi, the house-help
replied as she lowered the cup of water on the bed
‘You didn’t see her leave for work this morning?’ Ebiere
asked again and chichi shook her head to show
‘You can go now.’ Ebiere dismissed Chichi who exited
leaving Ebiere to dial Jo’s number.
Her number was switched off.
Ebiere knew Jo was playing her games again. She was
probably in her room lying down with her phone on
airplane mode while she listens to music or write.
Ebiere hopped off her bed and walked to Jo’s room only
to be welcomed by a door flung wide open and a step
inside the room, Ebiere’s eyes fell on the huge closet on
the opposite end whose doors were also flung open and
was as empty as anything.
Nothing was left inside the room.
Everything that belonged to Jo was gone.
Ebiere couldn’t believe her eyes.
Did Johanna just leave the house Or did she skedaddled
to avoid being reproached?
Ebiere sat on Jo’s bed wondering what the case may
be. Her eyes fell on a piece of paper on Jo’s pillow and
it read ‘I’m sorry’ in bold lettering.
Ebiere flung the pillow aside thinking Jo left more than
the ‘I’m sorry’ sheet of paper. Under the pillow was a
huge notebook which had My DIARY boldly written on it.
Ebiere took the book and rested it on her laps. Flipping
over to the last page marked by a blue pen, she saw a
picture cross cellophaned on the page. It was washed
out and parts of it had been torn off. The faces in the
picture had whitened which was probably due to
longetivity of the picture and exposure to water. Only
certain parts of the picture could be seen and it was
pretty hard making out who is who in the picture.
But it can’t possibly be hard for someone who has
another copy to identify it.
It can’t possibly be hard for someone who was the only
adult in the picture to identify it.
It can’t possibly be hard for Ebiere to know this was the
picture she took with her babies 22 years ago.